Cover image for Wise up : the challenge of lifelong learning
Wise up : the challenge of lifelong learning
Claxton, Guy.
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : Bloomsbury : Distributed to the trade by St. Martin's Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
x, 374 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BF318 .C55 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



A new science of learning is emerging and Guy Claxton is at the forefront. It was recently thought that one's learning was a matter of intelligence, or of how hard one tried and that the differences in achievement were due to "ability" or "effort". Widespread attitudes to learning currently disable rather than enable because they concentrate almost exclusively on conscious reason. This new science of learning tells us that everyone's learning power can be enormously increased. Good learners need to know when to mull and drift, as well as when to be analytical and focussed. The methods that Claxton advocates allows the individual to be comfortable with uncertainty, teaching the individual to rely on resourcefulness, resilience and reflection: qualities we have need for learning and growing into the future.

Author Notes

Guy Claxton is Visiting Professor in Psychology and Education, and Director of the Research Programme on Culture and Learning in Organizations (CLIO), at the University of Bristol. He is the author of thirteen published books, the latest being Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind . He has lectured widely on learning in the USA, Australia and New Zealand and his articles have appeared in the Times Educational Supplement , and New Scientist , among others.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Expanding on his previous books (Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind; etc.), which argue that conventional education vastly overemphasizes rational, memory-based ways of learning and knowing to the detriment of other modes, British psychologist and educator Claxton urges parents, teachers and students of all ages to concentrate on precisely those neglected channels. He advocates direct immersion, which lets us pick up useful patterns by osmosis; intuition or "soft thinking," which can prompt artistic, scientific and practical creativity; and imagination, including visualization, fantasy and playÄall useful tools for drawing on the brain's various pockets of expertise, according to Claxton. Higher education in the U.S. and U.K. is stagnating, he charges, as a generation of conformist students shun deep inquiry for fear of upsetting their teachers. To help individuals, educators and businesses "wise up," he offers examples of primary schools and colleges around the world that are using nontraditional educational approaches, and of companies that are creating a workplace environment conducive to on-the-job learning. Along the way, he takes potshots at multiple-intelligence theorist Howard Gardner, developmental psychologist Jean Piaget, linguist Noam Chomsky, computer tycoon Bill Gates and others with whose ideas he disagrees. Buttressed by recent research in cognitive psychology, artificial intelligence and neuroscience, Claxton offers a smorgasbord of food for thought that will appeal to teachers, parents, creative types and managers. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved